Give Light Campaign surpasses $1.1 billion goal, now extends to 2024

President Linda Livingstone, Ph.D., announced the surpassing of the $1.1 billion goal for the Give Light Campaign. Photo courtesy of Robert Rogers

By Rachel Royster | News Editor

President Linda Livingstone, Ph.D., announced on Thursday that Baylor’s Give Light Campaign had surpassed its goal of $1.1 billion at a celebratory event in Atlanta.

The campaign began publicly on Nov. 1, 2018, “to fund the academic aspirations and infrastructure needs to support Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan to become a preeminent Christian research university,” according to a Baylor press release.

On the road to meet its $1.1 billion goal, Baylor achieved the Research 1 university status by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, making it one of 37 private institutions to lead in the nation’s academic discoveries.

Now having met their goal, Baylor vice president for advancement David Rosselli said they plan to extend the campaign into May 2024. The $1.1 billion goal was established in 2016 based on what a team of Baylor representatives and consulting partners felt the Baylor family was realistically capable of.

“We’re undetermined what that final number will be, but there is huge upside potential,” Rosselli said. “We’re growing, and our potential is unlimited. Really, I couldn’t give you a number at this point that caps our overall potential. But I do think that over the next 30 months, we have the opportunity to raise at least another couple $100 million. I’m confident with that. But the longer-term potential for Baylor is far exceeding where we are right now.”

Rosselli, who has had previous experience working on campaigns with universities like University of California Berkeley, said what sets Baylor apart is the Christian mission. Livingstone said the Give Light Campaign as well as Illuminate were both named with a common theme from Matthew 5.

“We use the scripture of Matthew 5 about let your light shine before others that that be your good works and glorify Father in heaven,” Livingstone said. “We just liked this light theme that what we’re trying to do here at Baylor, we talked about the world’s needs, that we want to shine a light into the world, through that solve problems in the world and make the world a better place.”

Rosselli said having a vision like the one at Baylor helps donors to rally around something they truly believe in.

“They have a tremendous sense of pride for their alma mater,” Rosselli said. “For the alumni, the parents and the friends understand the world needs a Baylor, as the president cited in her inauguration and has now become a very popular slogan. They also feel that they are contributing — and not just from a monetary sense, but in their spirit, it’s part of a blessing to them. And I hear that over and over again. Donors say that yes, they’re giving resources, but it’s something immensely satisfying to be able to be a part of an institution that is changing the landscape of the world.”

Livingstone said seeing the direct impact, including the hiring of 14 endowed chairs and the construction of the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, has helped showcase the reason for the campaign’s establishment.

“We’re already seeing the impact on our campus of this campaign, whether it’s through research or scholarship dollars,” Livingstone said. “The physical look of campus will change. That will have a huge impact on our alumni and our admissions process and making a better kind of welcome and front door to the campus. So there’s a lot of very tangible impact that we’re already seeing on campus that will benefit our faculty, staff and students because of this. And it’s not just now; it’ll be for many, many years to come.”